AutoCheck vs Carfax

AutoCheck and Carfax are heavyweight subscription companies that help us gain insights inside the vehicle’s service records, potential accidents, and emission information in a world of internet-inspired, ultra-transparent deals. How do they stack up against each other?

Let’s find out.

AutoCheck

AutoCheck, owned by Experian, with notable associations with industry bigwigs including eBay Motors, Edmunds.com, CarMax, NADAguides.com, and Kelly Blue Book, is renowned for providing a vehicle score. We can think of this as a credit score for cars for indicators such as vehicle similarity, age, and mileage. Experian has been providing vehicle history reports since 1996.

Features of AutoCheck

AutoCheck’s scoring system

This score ranges from 1 to 100 serves to show how well a vehicle compares with other cars in its category. It allows us to screen out any vehicles with problems which can be as non threatening as high mileage and repossessions, or as serious as damage from few to several accidents. It also lets us know whether the car was driven by law enforcement agencies or ride-hailing services.

Comparing a car with similar attributes is the best way of finding out whether it is in good condition. However, AutoCheck’s scale may be challenging to understand, and how AutoCheck determines these figures are not particularly clear. The more tech-savvy modeling and decision analytic specialists use the AutoCheck database to create algorithmic score ranges based on similar model years and categories of vehicles.

Industrial strength

Industry professionals rely on AutoCheck to provide crucial information about a car’s history to potential buyers. Automobile dealers, mainstream US auto auctions as well as manufacturer-certified, pre-owned programs regularly use AutoCheck.

AutoCheck has exclusive access to auction data from the two largest US auctions. This makes their analysis very valuable among used car dealers. In addition, AutoCheck allows the subscribers to get up to 300 reports using VIN numbers from any smart device.

Buyback clause

AutoCheck offers a buyback clause that is designed to safeguard consumers against unreported state title brands. Every time an AutoCheck Assured Status report is completed on a vehicle, the Buyback Production clause comes into full swing. This stipulates that a refund of up to 110% of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) User Car Guides retail vehicle price is in order. This clause also allows up to $500 in aftermarket equipment.

AutoCheck database features

With AutoCheck, we can get the registration and title data on more than 500 million vehicles across all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. They also offer collision records from police reports and other sources in addition to event information from insurance companies and salvage yards. Some of the other data we can find on an AutoCheck report include NHTSA data. AutoCheck provides any relevant National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA records that may be associated with the vehicle, such as branded title data. This way, we can buy with confidence, knowing that the car has passed safety standards.

AutoCheck provides the following data:

  • History
  • Registration
  • Utilization History
  • Odometer readings
  • Rental history
  • Robbery documents
  • Accident reports
  • Gray market values
  • Reported hard
  • Color changes
  • Exported/imported
  • Number of previous owners
  • Outstanding finance plate changes
  • Recorded mileage
  • Engine number
  • CO2 emissions
  • Among others
Pricing

A single AutoCheck report costs $24.99, while 25 reports cost $49.99, and 300 reports cost $99 (free initial VIN check).

Customer support

AutoCheck has a friendly customer support team accessible from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. It is important to submit an email for enquires and less-pressing demands using the contact form on the site. There is a lot of data available to help us troubleshoot issues on the site. It is best to try them before reaching out.

Carfax

“Show me the Carfax” is perhaps one of the first-used vehicle report slogans, and has become daily speech as the catch-phrase for any vehicle history report, much like how Google is. The brand was founded in 1984 and stood as the initially used vehicle history report. Hence, Carfax commands name recognition and greater consumer trust. In fact, at the dealership, our customers ask for it outright without the need to educate them on how it works.

Features of Carfax

Industrial strength

Carfax is more popular than AutoCheck, having been found in 1984, before the internet. At that time, it faxed reports to customers.

Buyback Program

Carfax offers guaranteed buyback program and information on open recalls feature in a way AutoCheck doesn’t. With the guaranteed buyback program, if Carfax makes an error on your vehicle history report, they will buy back the vehicle from you. This gives many used car buyers a reassurance that is worth the higher cost of admission.

Service and maintenance records

Carfax is the one of the most reliable analysis providing records for maintenance dates, provided that the vehicle was serviced at a shop that shares this type of information. This feature allows us to see how well the previous owners tended to the car and any issues it might have had. Carfax captures data from more than 100,000 sources, including every US and Canada provincial motor vehicle agency. Carfax also gets data from less common sources too such as auto auctions, fire and police departments, as well as collision repair shops. In North America alone, Carfax’s database contains more than 17.5 billion records. Carfax boasts of high-quality vehicle data which we may not find on AutoCheck’s reports.

Carfax data features

Some of the data we can find on a Carfax report include:

  • Title information
  • Odometer readings
  • Lemons and Buybacks
  • Transfers of ownership
  • Inspections and Repairs
  • Accidents
Pricing

Carfax is expensive. A single Carfax report for a single-vehicle cost $39.99, three costs $59.99, while six is $99.99. This makes AutoCheck the more budget-friendly option. However, if we want to find out more details about a specific vehicle, then one may need to spend a bit more to enjoy Carfax’s premium features and data. These features, though costly, tend to be highly detailed and easier to comprehend, making them more user-friendly. Information such as the number of owners and mileage are neatly compartmentalized into sections.

Customer Support

Carfax responds to inquiries with highly responsive customer service via email or online chat. An appropriate link can be found on the website carfax.com. Carfax provides email and real-time support services to clients through live chat. Inquiries are discussed in the order that they are given. So, users wishing to correct inaccuracies in reports from Carfax must submit a form. Any additional information can be faxed to them via 866-728-6455.

Autocheck vs. Carfax: The Verdict

In testing lots of vehicles to see if we could spot any significant discrepancies, we have found that Carfax reports are more comprehensive than AutoCheck as they feature information on any maintenance or service that was reported. Where AutoCheck showed that a 2015 Ford Escape with a salvage title had two owners, Carfax revealed three owners and caught an accident that didn’t appear on the AutoCheck report.

However, all these high-resolution information comes at a cost - Carfax reports are costlier than AutoCheck reports. For instance, the cost of six Carfax reports is $99.99; with AutoCheck, we can get 300 reports for the same price. And this is why Carfax carries the day.

Conclusion

AutoCheck is a slightly harder path to tow due to its lack of name recognition. It is also not as detailed as Carfax. Therefore, in the court of public opinion, Carfax wins this comparison bout. It has a massive leader in brand recognition and trust. It has done a better job in marketing in addition to being around longer than AutoCheck. Customers almost always know what Carfax is and going through the hassle of clarifying things is one less thing we need to worry about. But if you’re on a budget and want to save big money, then AutoCheck fits the bill. Ultimately, you can’t go wrong choosing either report.

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